It’s no myth that sometimes cannabis makes you a little anxious. There are a few reasons for this. Recent research shows that some people are genetically more inclined to have an anxiety response to cannabis than others. Certain strains may also be the culprit. Regardless of the cause, here are seven ways you can deal with cannabis anxiety.
1. Change your environment
Your environment is quite possibly the biggest contributor to cannabis-induced anxiety. If you’re in a new place, meeting new people, or are feeling physically uncomfortable, you’re primed for nervousness.
If you start feeling a little weird, one of the fastest ways to nip the sensation in the bud is to simply change your environment. Go out for a walk and get some fresh air, take a moment to “freshen up” in the bathroom, or simply head home if you’re out. Once your body perceives that you’re in a safe and comfy place, the anxiety will go away.
2. Try some CBD
3. Do a box breath or two
When you’re anxious, your body is in fight-or-flight mode. While this can be insanely uncomfortable, the good news is that there is a way to trick your body into quickly calming down. Many people rely on breathing techniques to calm themselves during a panic attack.
Box breathing is one effective technique. The practice is simple. Breathe in for 2 to 5 seconds, then hold for the same amount of time. Next, breathe out for the same duration. Finally, hold an empty breath for, again, the same duration. After a couple of rounds, you begin to trick your physiology into a different nervous state.
4. Put on some soft music
The nervous system is always on the lookout for risks and potential attack. When you’re feeling on edge, try some music therapy. There is a trick to this. To really calm the nervous system, put on some very soft music. The ideal music does not include strong variations in pitch nor lots of low, base rumbling sounds.
The reason why is simple. Sounds that resemble high-pitched screams key up the nervous system. Sounds that resemble low rumbles shift the attention to the search for threats in the environment. Soft music that can sit in the background can help you calm down without triggering a response from the nervous system.
5. Try some passionflower extract or tea
Passionflower extracts and teas are often used as homeopathic remedies for insomnia, stress, and anxiety. A research paper published in 2011 found that passionflower increases levels of the neurotransmitter GABA. GABA is a calming neurotransmitter, and it works to quiet an overly excited brain.
Benzodiazepine anxiety medications also work by increasing GABA levels. High doses of THC block GABA’s quieting abilities, so taking some soothing passionflower can help add a little calm back into your life. Other calming herbs to use include chamomile and lavender. Sniffing some lavender oil may also be helpful.
6. Sit down and stretch
One very effective way to relax your mind is to relax your body. Turn on a yoga video or simply take some time to do a few of your favorite stretches. This has a couple of major benefits.
When your thoughts are causing you trouble, stretching gives you something to focus on. Secondly, stretching is a calming act that relaxes your physiology. You are basically telling your muscles to stop contracting, loosen up, and let go. When your body is relaxed, your mind can relax. Besides, most people don’t stretch enough anyhow.
7. Take a warm shower
Who doesn’t love a warm, cannabis-inspired shower? Similarly to stretching, the warm water can be extremely comforting and is a great way to wind down. If for some reason you still feel anxious while in the shower, try a basic mindfulness technique.
Mindfulness is paying attention the present moment with curiosity and without judgment. To mindfully bathe, focus your attention on the feeling of the water. How does the temperature make you feel? What does the water feel like on your skin?
Cannabis-induced anxiety can turn a fun and relaxing night into a major frustration. To help prevent anxiety in the first place, consider opting for indica-dominant strains.
Strains with a higher than average CBD content can also help prevent nervousness and paranoia. Otherwise, when disaster strikes, these seven tricks can help you find some balance.